Kelsey 3x5 versus Adana HS-2

Hey everybody,

I am looking to buy my first press. It will be used as a hobby letterpress around the home, so I don’t need anything fancy. I have my eyes set on either a Kelsey 3x5 or an Adana HS-2.

Right now I am in favor of the Adana because it’s chase is 4x6 and it costs a lot less. Is there any reason why I should consider the Kelsey?

I have seen Kelseys in perfect condition going for $400-$600 and I can get a fully reconditioned Adana HS-2 for $250. It seems like a no brainer, but I wanted to ask the experts before I made a move.

Thank you!

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I know of no reason you should not go to the Adana, it is as good or better than the Kelsey, and the extra size could come in handy.


Not even a close choice. Go for the Adana.


Great! All I needed were the words of encouragement. I am very excited to get started!

Hi Drew, from New Zealand. I operate two 6 x 4’s (HS2) and they are a great press. I started printing with one 58 years ago. If you’d like the manual and printing guidance go to where I have uploaded a flipbook which you can save and print out.
Best regards,
Tony King

You will find there are two models of High Speed 2, the H/S which has the iron main frame and just over 15kilo and the H.S. which has an alloy main frame and just over 10kilo.
The early H/S have a nice brass lay gauge to polish and iron ink disk.
Don’t ignore any rusty ones, the steel is soft and easily rubbed back, the allow parts can be cleaned in lemon juice. Don’t leave in lemon too long as you end up with a rather frothy grey brew.
They are normally missing the packing clips which is not a problem.
I have bought two rusty ones for £18 and £23 on e-bay in the past few months.
Be kind to your little press when you get one and ensure you regularly give it a light oil.
The manual is on this site, same as H/S 1, chapter 3 of the Adana printing book.